Whole30-challenge (mission completed?)

Where it all began and what on earth is Whole30? 

It is natural to believe that everyone has heard about Whole30, but where I come from Whole30 does not say anything at all. I noticed the term “Whole30” for the first time on Instagram. I became curious what it was and ended up purchasing the book on the right:

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I used some weeks to read online and to mentally prepare. For what is really the diet Whole30 and what does it mean to enter this challenge? To sum it up very fast and without saying  much: Whole30 is a 30-day challenge . You have to avoid eating the following:

  • Legumes
  • Grains (also glutenfree grains)
  • Sugar
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Alcohol
  • Paleo-versions of baked goods or junk-food ( no cauliflower pizza or “healthy” desserts)

You can find the complete list here. 

Whole30 simply means to avoid processed foods , avoid food as “reward” or to eat just “because I want to”. The challenge is to avoid food groups that can be problematic and that can cause disturbance and also foods that can awaken your sugar dragon. The challenge does not tell you to avoid fruits but to limit the intake as fruit sugar also can awaken your sugar dragon. If you don’t train you are supposed to eat 3 meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Since I am training 5 days a week I ate 2 snack meals too: pre-workout and post-workout. You also should always eat your meals and to not drink juice or smoothies ( here I failed a little as I sometimes like my after-gym snack to be a simple smoothie, who does not love smoothies??). I also drank fresh pressed juice a couple of times during the 30 days pre-workout.

My experience of the Whole 30 

I am not going to lie and say it was easy. Only to go shopping and to find products without added sugars was almost impossible. Who knew they add sugar to vegetable mixes and bacon? Sugar is hiding under all sorts of terms:  dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, invert sugar and maltose. This to just mention a few. The food industry loves to add sugar to everything, after all this is what keeps us coming back for more , right? I also can say that I indeed missed to drink one or two glass of wine to my food every Saturday. Water and sparkling water is just not the same. I also miss diet coke. The diet felt very restrictive as you could not bake anything even though it would be paleo approved ingredients or enjoy something like a dessert.

After you finish the 30 days you are supposed to reintroduce one food group at a time, but this is also the difficult part. I am afraid to proceed to fast. So far I reintroduced legumes (day 31 and 32)  and dairy (33 and 34). Still want to reintroduce artificial sweeteners, gluten, glutenfree grains and sugar. So I will continue over the next week to see what might give me negative side-effects like acne, bloathing, headache or awakening the sugar dragon.

So what did I eat? 

 

My NSV’s (non scale victories) 

This part is a little difficult. I had very good results in the first week or two. My headache magically disappeared, my skin cleared and got brighter, my stomach bloating disappeared, I saw faster progress from training than ever (muscles starting to show). But then somewhere in week 3 the headache returned , the acne breakouts and I did not see any big results. I have a feeling it might have been the paleo proteinbars (made of dates and nuts). Fruit sugar might give me a reaction too in a negative way.

The road ahead

I already mentioned the reintroduction. I am only in the beginning and I feel a little lost. Obviously legumes gives me a little stomach bloating and dairy I am not quite sure about yet. I am not ready to give up dairy permanently but legumes I think I might be able to live without. As many trying out the Whole30 and succeed (meaning they manage to finish it) they continue with Whole60, Whole90, etc. I do not think I want to live in a strict diet for that long time. It definatly put a limit to your social life, and also makes it impossible to eat outside. But this diet has made me interested in the paleo diet. So after the reintroduction I hope to adapt more to a paleo/low-carb lifestyle, but more moderate with room for enjoying something non-paleo from time to time. I did lose some kilos and inches of my waist too, but I feel I gain it easily back now that I started introducing foods. So I probably should be careful in the next days.

Do I recommend the Whole30? Yes, definately. Especially if you have an addiction with sugary and processed foods. This will be a great rehab for you. And you learn alot about yourself and how food affects you mentally and physically.

Will I do another round of Whole30? Actually I will say yes! Some times a year I think the body needs a restart and a clean-up.

So are you ready to try it too? Go ahead! You wont lose anything, except some kilos maybe.

Useful sources if you are interested in the challenge:

http://www.whole30.com 

 

Crispy cauliflowercrust pizza

Good day! 

 

Today I want to share a pizza that you can eat any time of the week without ending up feeling guilty. Personally I find this pizza worthy any Saturday ! I like to experiment with pizza recipes (more healthy versions) and this one might just be a favourite option so far. Please shout out if you know any other creative and healthy versions of pizza 🙂

Postive things about this pizza: contains vegetables, gluten-free, low-carb friendly (you can even make it lactose-free by choosing lactose-free cheese) , doesn’t collapse when you hold it in your hand, doesn’t taste like omelet

Negative things: you probably will eat it all if you first start!

So lets see how you will get this result!

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Ingredients 

  • small cauliflower (about 200-250 grams)
  • 4 tbsp. almond flour
  • 2 large eggs ( 3 small)
  • Grated parmesan (abou a handful)
  • Lots of spice of your choice! (spice up the tasteless cauliflower a little by adding for instance chili, cayenne pepper, oregano)
  • Chopped tomatoes (one can)
  • Tomato pure
  • Extra virgine olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Topping of your own choice ( I used salami, turkey,mushrooms,  onion and yellow paprika)

Method

  1. Make the dough: Mash the cauliflower in a blender. Use a kitchen cloth and drain the mashed cauliflower from all excess water. This is an important step to get your crispy dough!
  2. Mix all the ingredients and place the dough in a baking sheet
  3. Too make the dough more flat use some plastic and use your hands to squeeze it down – mine looked like this :

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Final step for the dough: Cook in the oven at 250 c in hot air for about 15 minutes. It should be slightly black in the corner when finished (but not burned).

Tomato sauce 

  1. Fry about 1 onion, 2 garlic cloves for some minutes
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes and the tomato pure and some drops of extra virgin olive oil
  3. Add some bay leaves, oregano, basil, salt, pepper
  4. Cook till it gets thicker (if you have time you can cook it for a while )

Spread the tomato sauce on the pre-cooked dough. Add cheese, mozzarella, your choice of toppings and cook for another 5-10 minutes till the cheese has melted. Just keep an eye on it and lower the temperature a little.

Enjoy! I cannot wait till the next time!

 

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alexandra2

Super delicious sugar-free and low-carb chocolate mousse!

Hello people and happy Saturday! (And happy Birthday to my niece that has her 16th birthday today! Gosh I am feeling so old now that I am almost 30...)

This weekend I am away for a job seminar in the beautiful city of Stavanger but I prepared a little post before I left because I really want to share it. I simply love this chocolate mousse and I would like to eat it every day. But even though it is healthy it does not mean it have 0 calories or 0 fat.. Just to warn you 🙂

What you need:

  • 200 grams of sugar-free chocolate. For this recipe I used dark sugar-free chocolate and white sugar-free chocolate. I used 50/50 so that’s why my mousse had a light color. You can use normal chocolate too, but of course then it wouldn’t be sugar-free, a good second-choice can be dark chocolate that is at least 70% dark. 
  • Erythritol
  • One box of cream (300 ml)
  • 4 Eggs
  • Salt

How to:

  1. Separate the eggs:  Plums in one bowl and the egg-whites in another bowl
  2. Beat the egg-whites with a pinch of salt till they get fluffy
  3. Melt chocolate in a casserole. Let cool down a little and then add around 1/3 of the cream to the chocolate along with the egg plums
  4. Add the rest of the cream in another bowl and use around 3 tbsp of erythritol fine sugar (sukrin melis) and whip the cream
  5. Add the cooled down chocolatemixture to the whipped cream
  6. In the end carefully stir in the egg-whites
  7. Add the chocolate mousse to small portion bowls or into a box
  8. Put it in the refrigerator. If you use smaller portion bowls the chocolate mousse should be good to eat after around 3-4 hours.

Enjoy!! 🙂

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alexandra2

Easy oven-baked pork chops and vegetables in spicy cream sauce

I came home from work one day and I was planning to eat a soup. Instead my body was craving for meat and that’s how I ended up with this recipe.

What you need for 2:

  • Pork chops (2-3)
  • Frozen vegetables of your choice ( I used wok mix and another mix of carrots, peas and corn)
  • Around 2 deciliters of cream
  • Spices : cumin, salt, pepper, chili (in general you can use the spices you want)
  • For the sauce: 2-3 teaspoons of sambal oelek (a strong chili sauce)

What to do:

  1. Turn the oven on at 200 c
  2. Defrost vegetables and put them in a pan:

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3. Mix the cream with sambal oelek and pour it over the mix

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4.  Heat a pan on high temperature and fry the pork chops for some minutes on both sides and add spices

5. Put them on top of the vegetables and cook for around 20 minutes in the oven. Turn them after half time and mix the vegetables a little.

Enjoy! 🙂

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alexandra2

Pink Protein Smoothie in 1-2-3

I have to say I enjoy drinking smoothies again, and especially now that I am not living on a strict low-carb diet anymore. I like to drink a protein shake after a work-out and found out that it is nice to actually just blend the protein powder in a normal smoothie.

For a big portion of pink vanilla smoothie 

  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 1 small glass of orange juice
  • 1 small glass of frozen strawberries and raspberries
  • About a half frozen banana sliced to pieces
  • 3-4 tbsp of yogurt

This smoothie is thick. If you want it more liquid you can add more water /orange juice/ coconut water or milk.

Mix everything in a blender and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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alexandra2

Spicy feta dip (tyrokafteri)

Good morning!

This yummy and simple dip I am going to share with you today is one of my favourites from Greece. It goes well with everything, especially meat. And the most positive is that it is so simple to make and you don’t need much ingredients.

What you need:

FETADIP

  • 1 small pack of feta
  • Half a chili
  • 2 tablespoons of a good olive-oil
  • Around one tbsp of yogurt or creme fraiche
  • Some drops of lemon juice

Method

  1. Clean the chili from seeds and fry it in a pan till it becomes soft
  2. Blend the chili in a kitchen blender
  3. Add feta cheese, olive oil and some lemon drops
  4. In the end stir in some yogurt/creme fraiche

Enjoy!

FETADIP3

FETADIP2

alexandra2

Easy and healthy salmon patties

Good evening!

I hope you had a good week so far. I have been a little absent lately because we had another holiday here in Norway. May is such a good month that way. I am starting from this week to eat more carbohydrates and I am planning to have an intake of about 100 grams a day. Most of my calories will still be from proteins and fat. I am happy about this because I can eat more wholegrain food again and also I don’t have to worry much about eating fruits and berries.

Today I made a simple and easy dish with salmon. I hope you will like the recipe 🙂

What you need for two persons:

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • Approximately half a chilli
  • Half a red onion
  • Spices of your choice: I chose a mix between lemon pepper, cumin, dill, salt
  • Squeeze of lemon

Method:

  1. Cut the salmon into smaller pieces and blend it in a kitchen blender (or cut to tiny pieces by yourself)
  2. Slice the chili and onion and add it to the mix
  3. Add spices and squeeze some juice from a lemon
  4. Heat some oil in a pan and fry the salmon patties

That’s it!

Serve with some fresh salad and if you want wholegrain hamburger-breads. I also mixed some sour cream with parmesan nuggets and mayonnaise on the side.

Enjoy 🙂

salmonpatties salmonpatties2

alexandra2

Fast and easy aubergine stew

Good morning!

Today I will share with you a fast and easy recipe that combines some of my favorite vegetables, aubergine and zucchini, and also lentils.

What you need:

  • 1 small aubergine
  • Half a zucchini
  • Half a red onion
  • Two garlic cloves
  • 2 handful of spinach
  • 1 box of ecological tomatoes
  • 1 box of ready to serve red lentils
  • Olive oil
  • Spices: oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, cumin

What to do:

  1. Chop the aubergine to circles and fry them in a pan with lots of oil, add some salt and pepper. When they get a nice color but them away .
  2. Do the same with the zucchini. Towards the end add the onion ,garlic and spinach.
  3. While cooking the zucchini you can cut the aubergine to smaller pieces if you want ( I did that)
  4. Put everything in a casserole and add the crushed tomatoes and the lentils. Warm it up with spices: oregano, thyme and cumin.

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Enjoy!!

alexandra2

Avocado wrapped with bacon served with dip

Good Monday!

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and celebration (Norway’s National Day was yesterday). I have to admit there have been some carbs sneaking in to my diet, but now I am ready for a fresh new week. The weather was sunny today so I could also cycle to work! 🙂 I am trying to cut milk-products and cheese this week to see if it has any effect on my weight ( ok I do not have any weight issues to have that clear- but I have some pounds I want to get rid off).

So the recipe I will share today is very good  for LCHF’ers especially because of the high amount of fat. But it is also a super tasty and nice little dish!

What you need (1 person):

  • Half an avocado
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • Juice of a lime
  • Chili &Lime spice ( I have a mixture of that)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper

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 What to do:

  1. Slice the avocados to medium thick slices
  2. Add some spice and squeezed lime juice
  3. Wrap with bacon
  4. Fry in some oil in a pan till its done (depending on how much you want the bacon fried)
  5. I used a little avocado, lime juice, about 1-2 tbsp of mayoneesa , salt, pepper as dressing. You mash the avocado with a fork. Simple and tasty dressing. For me that is not that good eating enough fat in a day, this dressing is perfect!20150518_154348_HDR

Enjoy!! 

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alexandra2

Sugar-free and low-carb chocolate tiramisu pavlova!

Good Saturday everyone!

Soon the Norwegian National Day is here, 17th of May, and pavlova is found on many tables this day. Usually many make it without chocolate and with cream and berries in the colors of the Norwegian flag: red and blue combined with the white cream. Personally I wanted something with chocolate and tiramisu combined. I really had a hard time making this cake, mostely because I have never made a pavlova before and also because I wanted to make a HEALTHIER version. The inspiration I took from this amazing blog , so I had this one as a base for my ideas for a healthy pavlova. I could imagine the taste of pavlova, chocolate ganache and tiramisu combined together, it just sounded amazing. So the result was that it took 3 hours from start to finish. Puh. Lets hope I can speed it up a little in the future!

Recipe 

Meringue:

  • 8 egg whites
  • 8 tbsp of fine powder erytrithol (sukrin melis)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 3-4 teaspoons of cranberry vinegar
  • 0,5 -1 teaspoon xantham gum

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven in high temperature. Around 200 c. I used hot air. Line two baking sheets with baking paper. I used a cake form around 22 cm to shape the meringue at the end. I would recommend to make it a little smaller though. The smaller shape the higher the meringue will get (but you also have to adjust the cooking time in that case).
  2. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer till they become stiff. Add gradually the sweetener, the cranberry vinegar and vanilla sugar and xantham gum.
  3. In the end sift in the cocoa powder carefully. It is not necessary to mix it completely.
  4. After shaping the meringues in the baking sheets lower the temperature to around 90 c (if you use hot air ). Place them both at the same time in the oven. One in the lowest part and one in the middle.
  5. Cook for approximately 90 minutes. Remember to not open the door during the time. Just keep an eye on it.  I think I would have increased the cooking time a little. Maybe with 20-30 minutes more. So up to 2 hours if you use 90 c hot air.

So after I finished this part I thought I had plenty plenty of time before the meringues were finished.. But amazingly I spent lots of time. Probably because I had no idea what I was doing. Thankfully I think it will be easier the next time.

Sugar-free dark chocolate ganaché

  • 200 grams of dark sugar-free chocolate (or other types but at least 70% dark)
  • 300 ml of cream (or one box)

What to do:

  1. Bring the cream to just below boil
  2. Chop the chocolate to small pieces
  3. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and let it stand for some minutes
  4. Carefully stir till the liquid is fine and without lumps. If you want it more thick you can let it be in the refrigerator for a while (or even hours).

Tiramisu cream 

  • 3 egg plums
  • 3 tbsp erythritol (sukrinmelis)
  • 0,6 deciliters strong coffee
  • 0,8 deciliters of amaretto ( or other liqueur)
  • 1,25 deciliters of cream
  • 1 egg white
  • 250 grams of mascarpone

What to do: 

  1. Heat water in a little casserole. Put a bowl over it and mix the eggs and the sweetener until it becomes thick. Add the liqueur and stir carefully till it thickens. Put aside and let it cool down.
  2. Mix the mascarpone with the coffee.
  3. Beat the egg-white  and carefully add it with the mix with the egg-plums.
  4. Mix the cream till it gets thick and creamy.
  5. In the end carefully mix everything together

Assembly the pavlova 

Finally finished almost. You have to be careful to not break the meringues.  To assembly you have one layer of meringue, one layer of tiramisu cream (and you can also add some chocolate ganaché inside too if you have a lot of it like I had..) and then another layer of meringue. Add some tiramisu cream and chocolate ganaché on top. Decorate with cherries and/or strawberries.

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GRATULER MED 17.MAI! HURRA!! 🙂

I wish everyone a good weekend and all Norwegians a super-duper celebration tomorrow!

alexandra2